Microsoft signed a deal with Toronto-based AI start-up Cohere to integrate the latter’s newly-launched enterprise Large Language Model (LLM) Command R+ into its Azure AI platform, extending the suite of advanced models available in the system.

In a statement, the cloud giant explained the partnership will enrich its own toolkit, offering a roll of generative AI (GenAI) products developed by its partners, including Meta, Nvidia, OpenAI and its own research house.

With Cohere’s latest product, the Azure AI catalogue now hosts more than 1,600 foundation models.

Microsoft believes this will boost its Model-as-a-Service (MaaS) offering by enabling its business customers to choose the GenAI model that best suits their needs.

Command R+, which the partners promoted as Cohere’s most powerful enterprise AI system yet, will be baked into a range of services Azure offers, including Azure AI content safety and Azure search.

The partners said Command R+ is an upgraded version of Cohere R, and counts a roster of intelligent capabilities thanks to improved “reasoning engine”.

These capabilities stretch from understanding the ten most used languages in business, using multiple tools to automate difficult and tedious workflows, to having higher accuracy rate compared to its predecessors.

With more AI models in the book, Microsoft said customers will be able to deploy a tool that makes most sense for its use case. For Cohere CEO Aidan Gomez, the deal represents a “testament to our shared vision of making AI more accessible and effective for businesses worldwide.” 

Last week Bloomberg reported that Cohere is in late-stage discussions to clinch a fresh round of funding that would raise the valuation of the company to $5 billion. Cohere is reportedly talking with investors about raising $500 million or more,